Modern Technique of The Pistol - Components - Flash Sight Picture

Flash Sight Picture

The Flash Sight Picture is a method of allowing the cognitive faculties of the shooter to align the target and the sights without the delay involved in the conscious alignment of sights, as used when slow-firing a rifle at a distant target. In point shooting, by contrast, the pistol is drawn from the holster and fired from the hip, without the sights being aligned at all.

In slow-fire rifle shooting, the front sight and rear sight of the rifle are aligned with the distant target with great care, taking at least several seconds.

The Flash Sight Picture technique falls between these two methods. During a gunfight, waiting to align the sights is too slow. However, more accuracy than point shooting is required to hit one's assailant reliably. It is physically impossible for the human eye to focus simultaneously on the rearsight (nearest to one's eye), the frontsight (further away from one's eye), and the relatively distant target at the same time. The muscles of the eye adjust to focus sight on one specific distance optimally at any one instant, so 3 different distances mean the shooter's focus must hunt (muscular physical adjustments) between all three points of mental concentration. The greatest adjustment of focus (relatively more ocular muscle contraction) is required to view shorter distances, such as the gun's rearsight. In the Modern Technique the shooter is taught to focus on the front sight of the pistol and align it against the target, ignoring the rearsight for quicker aiming and minimal physical requirements. This prevents the focus of the eye from hunting between rear sight, front sight and target, wasting vital time in refocusing.

The technique is called 'flash' sight picture because the cognition is best able to perform this function when the target and frontsight are presented quickly as a single image, in a 'flash', as if the shooter had just turned around to face a threat appearing from close by. The shooter's vision can "see" the rear sight, even if the focus is on the front sight. This is enough for the cognition to make an alignment. With the flash sight picture, the front sight and a rapidly presented image of the target are used to align the pistol. This is faster than slow-fire rifle, and offers more chance of hitting the target than point shooting from the hip.

The cognitive functions of the brain align objects in the hand with distant objects at great speed. This ability of human cognition can be used to align the pistol with the target. Colonel Cooper discovered this specific ability and named it the "Flash Sight Picture".

Human cognition can perceive a "Flash Sight Picture" at a speed faster than conscious awareness. This facility was discovered during World War II experiments with rapid recognition of aircraft silhouettes. Experimentation was continued after the war and branched into subliminal advertising in the 1960s, where images were flashed onto cinema screens for a duration too short for the viewer to notice, yet for cognition to have observed the image nonetheless.

Use of the Flash Sight Picture requires a rapid acquisition of the frontsight in order to allow the brain to perform its calculations. This focus on the frontsight is one of the main themes Colonel Cooper impressed upon students of the Modern Technique to clear their minds when shooting during a confrontation. The emphasis for students of the Modern Technique on the word "frontsight" was so great, that a shooting school and a shooting magazine were named after this phrase.

Read more about this topic:  Modern Technique Of The Pistol, Components

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